My 14-year-old daughter doesn’t understand me.
I don’t get that. It’s not like I’m a deep and complicated person. What’s not to understand? I like to drink beer and watch sports on TV. I like to eat and I like to read.
I don’t like to work very hard. I don’t like to go “shopping” and I don’t like to talk to people I don’t know. I’m pretty much your basic open book, so it always puzzles me when Emma tells me that she doesn’t understand me.
Last year, at about this same time, I went a bit crazy and bought a pair of sunglasses. These weren’t the sort of sunglasses you can pick up at the large 24-hour retail store in our town. These were — I’m told — designer sunglasses. The difference between the sunglasses you can pick up at the large 24-hour retail store in our town and these designer sunglasses was about $120.
I think that’s a significant difference, which is why, until last year, I had never purchased a pair of designer sunglasses. This may just be me, but I had a problem paying more for a pair of sunglasses than the monthly car payment for my first car.
But Emma had been chiding me for the way I looked. Apparently, I looked like a dork. Specifically, I looked like an “old dork.” Since I AM an old dork, I didn’t see what was wrong with looking like one, but according to Emma there was plenty wrong.
“You need to jazz things up some,” Emma said last year.
So I did. I bought a pair of designer sunglasses and instantly, in Emma’s eyes, I no longer looked like an old dork. The sunglasses I purchased were designed by a guy name Ray and when I started wearing Ray’s sunglasses Emma said I looked “vaguely acceptable.” Believe me, coming from a 14-year-old daughter that’s high praise. Emma even said my designer sunglasses made me look “preppy.”
I have never been called preppy in my entire life.
Then, about a month ago, I was dialing around Jimmy Buffett’s website and I started looking at his designer sunglasses. I liked the way Jimmy’s sunglasses looked. I also like the fact that Jimmy’s sunglasses cost about half of what I paid for Ray’s. So I ordered a pair and when I got them I discovered that I liked them much better than Ray’s sunglasses. Not because they make me look like Jimmy — they don’t. Nope, I like them because they do a better job of blocking the sun than Ray’s glasses do and, really, that’s all you want your sunglasses do to: Block the sun.
When I discovered that I liked Jimmy’s sunglasses better than I like Ray’s sunglasses, I stuck Ray’s in the glove compartment of my car and went with Jimmy’s. A few days later Emma noticed that I was no longer wearing Ray’s sunglasses.
“Where are you other sunglasses?” Emma demanded.
I told Emma that I liked Jimmy’s sunglasses better than Ray’s. I told her Jimmy’s sunglasses were better than Ray’s and that they cost half as much. Then I took off my sunglasses, handed them to Emma and told her to try them. She did.
“You’re right. They are better. But you need to wear your other sunglasses because people can tell that they’re designers,” Emma said.
I told Emma that Jimmy’s glasses had a small palm tree on them. She told me the palm tree was too small. She told me that it was important for people to see that I am wearing designer sunglasses. I told Emma that I didn’t care what people thought about my sunglasses. I told her that I just wanted a pair that worked.
“I don’t understand you,” Emma said.
Maybe I am a deep and complicated person.
Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My 14-year-old daughter doesn’t understand me.
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